"A blaze of glory. Khan's striking, beautiful lament is an extraordinary way to wind down a solo dance career."

Time Out (London)

Akram Khan
A Cal Performances Co-commission

British (by Bangladeshi descent) dancer/choreographer Akram Khan is revered for physically demanding, visually spellbinding solo productions which combine Indian kathak with modern dance in works of sublime storytelling. Seen here in an exclusive West Coast engagement, XENOS is Khan's final solo creation before his planned retirement from solo performance. A powerful work that reveals the beauty and horrors of the human condition through the myth of Prometheus, it is told from the perspective of an Indian soldier recruited to fight in the trenches of World War I for the British Crown. "Xenos" means "stranger" or "alien" in Greek, and Khan's work bravely explores the soldier's alienation as he is trapped between two cultures in the colonial system. Performed with live musical accompaniment. "A work of incredible potency, of emotional and cultural depth that sings and surges with the confidence of an artist at the peak of his powers" (The Stage, London).

Approximate run time: 65 minutes, without intermission

Nina Harries, double bass and vocals
BC Manjunath, percussion and konnakol
Tamar Osborn, baritone saxophone
Aditya Prakash, vocals
Clarice Rarity, violin

Commissioned by 14-18 NOW : WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Co-produced by Onassis Cultural Centre — Athens, The Grange Festival Hampshire, Sadler's Wells London, New Vision Arts Festival Hong Kong, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, National Arts Centre Ottawa, The Center for China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF), Centro Cultural de Belém, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Grec 2018 Festival de Barcelona, HELLERAU — European Center for the Arts Dresden, Tanz Köln, Edinburgh International Festival, Adelaide Festival, Festival Montpellier Danse 2018, Julidans Amsterdam, Canadian Stage Toronto, Romaeuropa Festival, Torinodanza festival/Teatro Stabile di Torino — Teatro Nazionale, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts New York, Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, Danse Danse Montreal, Curve Leicester.

Colas Logo

Art Commissions


Parking Alerts

Parking will be a problem on campus for the Mar 2 performance due to a Cal Men's Basketball game. Please see our Parking Alert section for more information.

Public Events

Public Classroom
Thu, Feb 28, 2019, 12pm
BAMPFA Osher Auditorium
Akram Khan discusses XENOS with Cal Performances interim artistic director Rob Bailis in an open session of the academic course Thinking Through Art+Design@Berkeley: Creativity, Migration, Transformation taught by Peter Glazer and Stan Lai. This event will be held at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive's Osher Auditorium, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley. Free and open to the public. Join the Facebook Event!

Sat, Mar 2, 2019, 10:30am
Doug Adams Gallery, 2465 Leconte Avenue, Berkeley
Exploration of Spirituality and Storytelling in Dance. The Graduate Theological Union hosts an interactive session exploring issues of spirituality and movement raised in Akram Khan's XENOS. With liturgical dance artists Carla DeSola and David McCauley; kathak dancer, educator, and choreographer Charlotte Moraga; and Dr. Michelle T. Summers of UC Berkeley’s Dept. of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. Free and open to the public. Contact www.gtu.edu for more information. Join the Facebook Event!

Community Dance Class
Sat, Mar 2, 2019, 1pm
Room Z170, Zellerbach Hall (enter Stage Door, North Side)
Dancer, educator, and choreographer Charlotte Moraga, principal dancer with the Chitresh Das Dance Company from 1996–2016, leads a community dance class in kathak traditional Indian dance. Open to all ages and abilities. $10. Advance purchase required.


Catharsis Café
Sat, Mar 2, 2019, 10pm
Zellerbach Hall Mezzanine Lobby
Join us for a reception and discussion following the performance. Free to ticket holders.

Pre-Performance Discussion
Sun, Mar 3, 2019, 3pm
Tilden Room, 5th Floor, ASUC Student Union: Martin Luther King Jr. Building
Meaning Making in Dance. Akram Khan has used a variety of tools and resources to choreograph his new solo production, XENOS, including classical kathak and contemporary dance, the archives of Indian soldiers fighting for Britain during World War I, and mythological drama. This panel discussion explores different ways in which audience memebers can make personal connections with the work.


  • Carla De Sola, Center for the Arts & Religion, Graduate Theological Union
  • Atreyee Gupta, History of Art Dept., UC Berkeley
  • Anusha Kedhar, Dept. of Dance, UC Riverside
  • SanSan Kwan, Dept. of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Mario Telò, Dept. of Classics, UC Berkeley

Moderated by Michelle Summers, Dept. of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley, and the Center for the Arts & Religion, Graduate Theological Union

Major support for public programs provided by Bank of America.

Donor Benefits

Donor Parking
As a service to our donors at the $750 level and above, we offer the opportunity to reserve parking for our performances. Reserve parking online 5 business days or more in advance of the performance, or by contacting Cal Performances' Development Department at 510.642.8653 or email donate@calperformances.org.

View my current parking benefits

Additional information regarding donor parking benefits can be found on our Donor Services/Parking page.

Program Notes

Program notes are available online. [PDF]